Fast food is linked to lower bone mass in infants

Fast food is linked to lower bone mass in infants

Fast food has a bad reputation, and deservedly so. Most fast food is highly processed and loaded with sugars, fat and chemicals. On top of that, fast food doesn’t contain any nutrition.

New research from the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton in the UK shows that fast food is linked to lower bone mass in infants.

The researchers looked at bone mineral density statistics in 1107 children at birth, and at four or six years old. They compared the bone density data to the number of supermarkets, health food stores, and fast food restaurants in the child’s area.

A healthy, balanced diet with nutrients like protein, calcium, vitamin D, fruits and vegetables is believed to be a major contributor to bone health during early life.

Professor Cyrus Cooper, Chair of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) Committee of Scientific Advisors, and study co-author, said, “These findings suggest that the exposure of mothers and children to more healthy food environments might optimize childhood bone development through its influence on the quality of the maternal diet and dietary choices during childhood.”

More extensive research is needed, but if confirmed in further studies, this would imply that action to improve the food environment could have benefits for childhood bone development.” he added.

The study authors write:

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#228B22″ class=”” size=”17″]“The neighbourhood food environment that pregnant mothers and young children are exposed may affect bone development during early childhood. If confirmed in future studies, action to reduce access to fast-food outlets could have benefits for childhood development and long-term bone health.”[/pullquote]

The study showing that fast food is linked to lower bone mass in infants was published in the journal Osteoporosis International.

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1. “Greater Neighborhood Access to Fast-food Outlets Linked to Lower Bone Mass in Infants.” EurekAlert! International Osteoporosis Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.
2. “Greater Access to Fast-food Outlets Is Associated with Poorer Bone Health in Young Children.” Springer Link. Osteoporosis International, 01 Oct. 2015. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.

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